Something’s in the air - a foreboding. People sense it, and when I ask them to describe it they bite their lips, look away and look back to say something like, “I don’t know. It just can’t keep going on like this. Something’s going to break.” Some think another financial meltdown is coming, but a bigger one, much bigger. Others think it will manifest as a breakdown of law and order. No one I’ve talked to thinks their lives or their children’s lives are going to improve in the foreseeable future. They think about just holding on. They see decline all around them and are bracing for more. They expect the slide to accelerate.
|Former Senator John Morse|
Two things occurring last week seemed reflective of this:
1. A couple of state senators were recalled
in Colorado after they voted for gun control. The most surprising thing
was that these were two very blue Democrat senate districts that went
for Obama by a wide margin. It was a blue-collar revolt organized by a couple of plumbers who were outspent by progressive Democrats six to one!
Nationwide, senators and congressmen on both sides of the aisle were
bombarded by constituents telling them to stay out of Syria. Here in
Maine, left-wing Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said her calls were running 98% against.
Those are astounding numbers! President Obama was shocked to realize
that if the vote he asked for went ahead, he would have the rug pulled
out from under him in front of the whole world.
Are these the same voters who reelected Obama and the Democrats with 52% of the vote just ten months ago? Maybe they’re people who stayed home last November because they didn’t like any of the choices on the ballot, Democrat or Republican. Maybe they’re people only now getting fired up because they know what they don’t want - a government they don’t trust trying to take their guns, and a president they don’t trust trying to act tough.
Something is afoot and political pundits are flabbergasted. These are grass-roots uprisings and they portend a possible sea-change. Ordinary citizens are saying “Stop!” to government. The Colorado plumbers and other ordinary citizens told government not to mess with people’s guns. The rest of America told government not to use military action in Syria if it’s only to save a vain, incompetent commander-in-chief from embarrassment, especially one who has no plan for what to do afterward.
Are people losing faith in government? Unions are worried about losing the forty-hour work week and their subsidized health insurance under Obamacare. Citizens are learning that their doctors will be asking them for details about their sex lives - and it won’t necessarily be the doctors they’ve always gone to either. Obama’s assurances that “you can keep you doctor” under Obamacare are going by the wayside. So are the guarantees that “you can keep your policy,” as colleges, businesses, and other organizations think about dropping health care coverage for employees. Meanwhile, senators and congressmen who gave us Obamacare are exempting themselves from it. They don’t want to go into health-care exchanges into which they’re forcing the rest of America.
The number of working age Americans out of the workforce is approaching 100 million. That’s not reflected in unemployment statistics, which are really far worse that those being reported. There are more people collecting government assistance than there are taxpayers in many places, including my state of Maine
. The United States was born in 1776 and came to be the most powerful, most prosperous nation in history by the end of World War II in 1945. Now, in 2013, the United States is the most indebted nation in history. We owe $17 trillion on the books already and that doesn’t count promises government made for Social Security and Medicare which could amount to $100 trillion more unless they’re cut back.
“Rags to rags in three generations.” Ever heard the saying? The context is usually family, but it can apply to a nation. The first generation makes money and goes from rags to riches. The second generation holds it. The third squanders it and goes back to rags. In a country that prizes the “pursuit of happiness” by preserving equal opportunity, rags to riches stories are common. They happen in totalitarian countries too, but the process is usually criminal or violent, or both. Here, people can pull themselves up legitimately by starting businesses which together build an economy that pulls others up with it. We can, that is, unless government regulates business to death or confiscates income through excessive taxation. Government can preserve equal opportunity, but cannot produce equal results.
Half the country seems content to sit back and let government do more and more for them, while the other half realizes, as economist Herb Stein did, that “if something cannot go on forever, it will stop